How to Operate a Kienzle Grandfather Clock

Written by brian adler
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Kienzle was a major German manufacturer of grandfather clocks. Grandfather clocks are popular long case clocks. Averaging 6 1/2 feet or more in height, grandfather clocks are powered by a system of three weights. The weights move a series of internal gears that, in turn, move the hands of the clock. The time itself is regulated by the movement of a pendulum. The operation of Kienzle grandfather clocks is similar to that of other traditional grandfather clocks.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Kienzle grandfather clock
  • Thin pieces of wood or cardboard
  • Grandfather clock weights

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  1. 1

    Place the Kienzle grandfather clock in the place you intend to keep it. Make sure the clock is absolutely level. Make adjustments in height by placing thin pieces of wood or cardboard underneath clock feet that appear to be in a lower position than the other feet.

  2. 2

    Open the clock case, and check to see if the gut lines are wound around the winding spindles. The gut lines are long chains that are used to wind the mechanism of the clock. The winding spindles jut out from the winding barrels. If the gut lines have fallen off, reattach them.

  3. 3

    Insert the clock movement and clock face into the case. These will be connected to each other. Make sure the clock face is centred in the case and cannot fall out when the door is opened.

  4. 4

    Slide the pendulum up through the pendulum crutch. The pendulum crutch is a loop at the bottom of the metal strip that hangs down from the clock movement. The pendulum must pass through the loop and into a slot in the small piece of metal that is located just above the loop. The pendulum will click into place.

  5. 5

    Wind the Kienzle grandfather clock by pulling slowly on the chain until it can go no further. If the particular model does not have a chain, it will have either a key or a winding crank. Wind the clock by turning either the key or the crank.

Tips and warnings

  • Readjust the angle of the Kienzle grandfather clock if, after the pendulum has been attached, it touches the back of the case. The pendulum must be able to swing freely without touching the back.
  • Always hang the proper weight in the proper positions. The heaviest weight powers the chimes. The other two weights can usually be attached to either of the other chains.

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